ErickBall

I am currently a nuclear engineer with a focus in nuclear plant safety and probabilistic risk assessment. I am also an aspiring EA, interested in X-risk mitigation and the intersection of science and policy.

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That's like saying that because we live in a capitalist society, the default plan is to destroy every bit of the environment and fill every inch of the world with high rise housing projects. It's... true in some sense, but only as a hypothetical extreme, a sort of economic spherical cow. In reality, people and societies are more complicated and less single minded than that, and also people just mostly don't want that kind of wholesale destruction.

I didn't think the implication was necessarily that they planned to disassemble every solar system and turn it into probe factories. It's more like... seeing a vast empty desert and deciding to build cities in it. A huge universe, barren of life except for one tiny solar system, seems not depressing exactly but wasteful. I love nature and I would never want all the Earth's wilderness to be paved over. But at the same time I think a lot of the best the world has to offer is people, and if we kept 99.9% of it as a nature preserve then almost nobody would be around to see it. You'd rather watch the unlifted stars, but to do that you have to exist.

I don't think governments have yet committed to trying to train their own state of the art foundation models for military purposes, probably partly because they (sensibly) guess that they would not be able to keep up with the private sector. That means that government interest/involvement has relatively little effect on the pace of advancement of the bleeding edge.

Fair point, but I can't think of a way to make an enforceable rule to that effect. And even if you could make that rule, a rogue AI would have no problem with breaking it.

I think if you could demonstrably "solve alignment" for any architecture, you'd have a decent chance of convincing people to build it as fast as possible, in lieu of other avenues they had been pursuing.

Since our info doesn't seem to be here already: We meet on Sundays at 7pm, alternating between virtual and in-person in the lobby of the UMBC Performing Arts and Humanities Building. For more info, you can join our Google group (message the author of this post, bookinchwrm).

I found this post interesting, mostly because it illustrates deep flaws in the US tax system that we should really fix. I downvoted it because I think it is a terrible strategy for giving more money to charity. Many other good objections have been raised in the comments, and the post itself admits that lack of effectiveness is a serious problem. One problem I did not see addressed anywhere is reputational risk. The world is not static, and a technique that works for an individual criminal or a few conscientious objectors probably will not work consistently for a large and coordinated group of donors, because society will notice and react. What effect would this behavior have on the charities you give to? I suspect most of them, if they knew about it, would justifiably refuse the money. What effect would it have on other organizations you might be associated with? They are now involved with and perhaps encouraging a known criminal, albeit one who probably won't be prosecuted.

In conclusion, I really wish I could vote to disagree with this post without downvoting to make it less visible. I think readers should be able to see it and also see that practically everyone disagrees with it.

I always thought it would be great to have one set of professors do the teaching, and then a different set come in from other schools just for a couple weeks at the end of the year to give the students a set of intensive written and oral exams that determines a big chunk of their academic standing.

I can now get real-time transcripts of my zoom meetings (via a python wrapper of the openai api) which makes it much easier to track the important parts of a long conversation. I tend to zone out sometimes and miss little pieces otherwise, as well as forget stuff.

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